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Highlight: The Murano offers upscale design, tech options and room for the whole family.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $40,095 (base model $30,445)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: ABS; air bags; a rear view mirror; automatic headlights; a traction control system; a hill start system; and a tire pressure monitoring system.

 Standard Equipment (base model): 18-inch tires; front wheel drive; cloth seats; manually operated front seats; a tilt and telescopic steering wheel; automatic temperature control; manually reclining second row seats; a push button ignition starter system; and a remote keyless entry system

 Standard Equipment (SL model): LED daytime running lights; LED taillights; a hill start assist system; a blindspot warning system; a rear traffic cross alert system; an around view monitor; power front seats with memory driver’s seat; leather seats; a 9-speaker BOSE audio system; HD radio; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a dual zone temperature control system; a navigation system; heated outside mirrors; a remote engine start system; power liftgate; heated front seats; and a rear tinted privacy glass.

 Optional Features On Test Vehicle: power panoramic moonroof; a radar activated cruise control; a predictive forward collision system; and a forward emergency braking system.

 Other Trim Level:

 S

SV

Platinum

 Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD with satellite radio

 Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

 iPod connectivity/USB Port: Yes

 Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder/260-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

 Standard Fuel Mileage:

21-city/28-hwy

Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs

What’s New: The curvaceous third-generation Murano is all-new for the 2015 model year.

Pros: The stylish and roomy Murano is available in a front-wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration in eight trim levels. As always, Nissan has managed to bring another stylish, cutting-edge, eye-popping crossover to the marketplace. This five-passenger, mainstream people mover brings a sense of style that appeals to both men and to women alike – unlike many of today’s crossovers. Yes, we must admit most crossovers just don’t appeal to men but the 2015 Murano just doesn’t look like a minivan on steroids.

Inside the cabin, the Murano has been outfitted with the brand’s new zero gravity seats, which we found to be extremely comfortable, offering both living room-like seating and back support. And the cargo area has been reconfigured this year, offering more usable space whether the rear seat is in use or folded flat. The Murano offers an available USB port for the rear seat that allows the occupants to listen to music. 

The Murano is also powered by one engine, a 3.5-liter, six-cylinder, which is more than adequate for this vehicle. And depending on one’s option list, the crossover can be loaded up to the hilt with everything from an electronic blindspot mirror to the brand’s signature moving object detection system, as was the case with the SL model we reviewed.

Nissan has moved the Murano into a segment that can compete with its premium luxury Infiniti line, with its all-new Platinum trim model. The Platinum model offers such standard upscale features as ventilated front seats, memory front seats, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, rear heated seats, power return rear seats, a heated steering wheel and 20-inch wheels. Yes, Nissan has managed to push the envelope again with the Murano without sacrificing anything.

Cons: Nissan has a way of overpacking their tech packages, not separating such features as the blindspot lane changing system. This type of packaging makes it less affordable for the mainstream community, forcing features on them that they may not necessarily want or need.

The optional heated front seats on the model we reviewed only offered two settings. Unfortunately, the low seat setting was too warm to keep on for a continuous period.

Just like the Infiniti line, the engine in the Murano requires premium gasoline. In a day and time when many engines are using regular fuel, why is Nissan not taking a cue from the market?

Verdict: In the competitive midsize five-passenger crossover segment, Nissan has managed again to offer a standout design with a variety of trims and upscale luxury features, too. Buyers who opt for the all-new third generation Murano will not be disappointed. In our eyes, it’s a standout in the five-passenger crossover segment.

Competition: Chevy Equinox; Hyundai Santa Fe; Mazda CX-5; Ford Edge; Kia Sorento; and Toyota Venza

Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him on Twitter/JeffCars.

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